Those who find themselves looking to train in Albuquerque should look towards Sandia Budokan.  It mixes classes on Karate and Kendo along with the Aikido classes and they ask students to limit themselves to one stripe until they are certified black belt in at least one art.  The school is associated with the California Aikido Association but reminded me of the ASU version I studied in Tallahassee and Pittsburgh.  They use the same techniques as Tomiki although the entrance is typically different even though they end up in the same place.

Several senior students from other flavors of Aikido have one-off weekly classes in their specific style throughout the week so it is worth making contact if the scheduled classes will not work for you.  Also, it is critical to remember that Albuquerque is more than a mile above sea level and the altitude does affect endurance.  Additionally, being a desert, the low humidity will dehydrate one even over the course of a single hour class.

http://www.sandiabudokan.org/aikido.html

Working in a lumberyard teaches one to hook, not grab and to project from one’s center instead of pushing with one’s arms.
It also provides plenty of time to polish a thought.

First eight techniques (kneeling) from Koryu Dai San performed at Columbia
Athletic Club, Columbia, MD.
http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/SO0tk6BgwBs

What does it mean when we refer to “hard style” aikido, vice “soft style”?

Second eight techniques (standing) from Koryu Dai San performed at Columbia
Athletic Club, Columbia, MD.

For whatever reason, my test partner and I are having more trouble remembering the koryu dai san no kata than we are performing it.  (Sempai may disagree with that).   As an exercise we wrote down the techniques as we remember them.

koryu dai san 

Kneeling (standing variations; my knees no longer permit me to perform kneeling techniques.)

1 overhead strike. to head
2 yokomen broken nose
3 gut punch
4 push hands up 
5 rear choke. static
6 shihonage lift hand
7 sleeve grab to strike
8 clap hands and throw (sandwich hands)

Standing
1 lapel grab kote mwashi
2 grab tori right wrist, under armpit. pick up penny
3 rock the cradle
4 rope arm
5 two hands front choke
6 go behind choke
7 bear hug 
8 first hog tie pull pants off

Knife
1 heart strike
2 overhead strike broken nose
3 backhand
4 first assassin (pulldown)
5 first kidney 
6 second kidney
7 second assassin. big scabbard 
8 hog tie with foot kote gaeshi 

The traditional names, along with links to some reference video can be found at http://budo.markcwallace.net/home/koryudaisan (among other places)

 

The exercise led me to reflect on the barriers that arise from the extensive use of Japanese in martial arts. I’ve had a number of people tell me that their reluctance to learn a foreign language is one of the reasons they don’t practice martial arts. Although I find the names of the basic 17 to be reasonably mneumonic and didactic, I find that the traditional names of the techniques in classic form number three, and the names of the jo suburi to be completely unhelpful.  I have to memorize the technique and the name separately, and then connect them in my mind.  But that is for another day. 

Koryu Dai San 

Traditional Dojo Entry Technique
Kneeling Techniques performed in the classical “correct” style
1 Oshi taoshi video Vigorous overhead strike to heart Bend out, fake strike to neck
Kneeling Techniques adapted to standing to avoid knee damage
1 Oshi taoshi Heart Strike Vigorous overhead strike to heart Bend out, fake strike to neck
2 Gyakugame ate Broken Nose Angled strike strike to opposite temple, reinforce at sternum
3 Kote gaeshi Gut Punch Pucnch to solar plexus Kote Gaeshi
4 Ryotemochi sukui nage Push Hands Up Double wrist grab Enter, raise hands, pivot hips, hook ankle
5 Tenkai kote hineri Static rear choke Right arm bar choke from behind chinup, apply kote hineri to wrist
6 Shiho nage Lift hand, four direction throw single hand grab (right?) Four direction throw
7 Gedan ate Go away kid, you bother me From 45 degree angle, grab sleeve break grab, shoulder strike
8 Hiji kime Sandwich hands/Clap hands Grab right lapel Trap hands in a “sandwich”, slide to elbow, hip pivot, throw
Standing Techniques
1 Kote mawashi Kote mawashi Grab Right lapel Kote mawashi
2 Uchi tenkai nage Pick Up Penny Grab right wrist Under armpit, very low, arm resting on neck
3 Gyakugamae ate Rock the cradle Grab left sleeve ?? fall back off line, lay arm over sankyo points, use hips to draw back, return to enter space
4 Hijii kime Rope arm grab ? wrist rotate wrist tegatana forward, rope arm to ear, lower to permit roll out
5 Mae otoshi Front choke Grab lapels for choke hold Mae otoshi
6 Ushiro waza mae otoshi Go behind choke Grab right wrist, “pin down”, enthusiastically circle around behind to choke Mae otoshi
7 Ushiro waza tenkai kote hineri Bear hug Wrap arms around from behind walking tori Tenkai kote hineri against shoulder
8 Mune tori kata gatame Hog Tie/Pull off pants Stabilize & haymaker pull off pants
KnifeTechniques
1 Shomen Uchi Heartstrike Vigorous strike to heart Bend, step offline, (fake) strike to neck
2 Migi yokomen Uchi Broken nose ?angled? strike to head Strike to opposite temple, reinforce to solar plexus
3 Hidari yokomen uchi Backhand Reverse strike to the neck Interrupt, ??
4 Tanto tsuki First Assassin Vigorous, repeated stab with hunched over posture Behind, ushiro ate linear
5 Gedan yokomen uchi First Kidney Strike to the kidney Block, lift to shoulder. Hands on elbow, ear pinning wrist, shuffle back
6 Gyaku gedan yokomen uchi Second kidney Reverse strike to kidney Kote Gaeshi
7 Tanto tsuki Second Assassin/Big Scabbard Pull knife from scabbard, stab forward Seize hand, kote hineri
8 Shomen-giri-gedan-ate Hog Tie/Foot Gaeshi Overhead strike Guide knife to thigh, topple, foot kote gaeshi

External Links

Video

Links 

We’d promised some video on this site. Here is Caity Wallace performing Kote Gaeshi from the Tanto section of the Koryu Dai San No Kata.

Classic Form #3
Kneeling techniques (standing variation)
1 overhead strike. to head
2 yokomen broken nose
3 gut punch
4 push hands up
5 rear choke. static
6 shihonage lift hand
7 sleeve grab to strike (go away kid, you bother me)
8 clap hands and throw

standing
1 lapel grab kote mwashi
2 grab tori right wrist, under armpit. pick up penny
3 rock the cradle
4 rope arm
5 two hands front choke
6 go behind choke
7 bear hug
8 first hog tie pull pants off

Knife
1 heart strike
2 overhead strike broken nose
3 backhand
4 first assassin (pulldown)
5 first kidney
6 second kidney
7 second assassin. big scabbard
8 hog tie with foot kote gaeshi

The traditional names (and reference videos) can be found at http://budo.markcwallace.net/home/koryudaisan
If I get time, I may revise this post to build a table.

From Eric:

After several knee operations I have been told by my orthopedic surgeon that I should no longer perform suwari-waza (kneeling techniques). I mentioned this to a very senior instructor; he offered the following comments and has graciously allowed me to post them here.

———————————-

Eric,

I am sorry to hear that you are still having problems with your knees. At the end of the day though, Suwari-waza is done partly for historical reasons, and partly – but more importantly as a training method which strengthens and helps the body posture. Toes, legs, hips and back need to be aligned in good posture in order to generate power from a well-balanced position throughout technique. In Suwari-waza this is critical and it is often “easier” to detect any weak parts in the chain, as these waza becomes very difficult to do if you are not in proper posture. In that way this practice helps us and greatly adds benefits to the standing techniques as well. Most people don’t appreciate this, and just find these techniques an ‘annoying’ leftover from past times. I came to appreciate (I would even say love!) suwari-waza particularly through my Iaido practice. However, having said all of that, if you have injuries that prevent you from practicing Suwari-waza then you must just find other ways of getting to the same goal. It’s as simple as that. No need to torture yourself and risk even worse and irreversible injuries from this kind of practice.

The standing solo exercises will take you a long way on that same road. However, you must analyze and thoroughly study the body mechanics of how these exercises work. Tomiki Sensei put a lot of work and thought into creating these patterns. Often these exercises are just done in a fast and ‘robotic’ manner without much thought and sense for the correct use of the body. Although we typically do these movements as solo exercises, I would encourage you to find ways to ‘test’ them with a partner as well. Have the partner ‘hang on’ to your body – either pushing or pulling at certain points to add some resistance – again with the purpose of finding the weak spots in the chain of body movement/alignment. The secret to good Aikido is to study simple movements like that and find ways to incorporate these principles and “invisible” sense in your body to the other waza. I think you understand that already – but please but emphasis on this in your training.

Working with weapons in Aikido has some of the same benefits. The sword helps build good sense for centerline in particular, the Jo “extension of power”. Don’t think of sword and jo as “weapons fighting” within Aikido. It has nothing to do with the old types of real sword fighting. If you want to learn “sword fighting” then go and learn a proper classical sword school. There is a very clear distinction here. Yes, there are historical connections in the weapons area between these classical schools and Aikido, as Ueshiba Sensei, and others before him, had learned these weapons in a classical context. As such the body mechanics and patterns of movement are naturally connected. However, Ueshiba Sensei continued this practice and changed weapons techniques for his students to help them better learn Aikido. I could go on for hours about this, but that will be for some other time!

 

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